Can Acupuncture be helpful for Substance Abuse Recovery?

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What is Acupuncture?

In traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture is often used to prevent diseases and illnesses. It involves stimulating specific points on the body by inserting metal needles through the skin. Movies and television have made acupuncture out to be a goofy experience, and it’s rarely portrayed within a formal treatment setting. However, when combined with behavioral intervention and therapy programs, appears to be an effective addiction treatment tool.

The idea behind acupuncture is that that bodily issues are caused by disruptions in one’s life force—in blood, nutrients, etc—and that stimulating select pathways can even out the flow.

The science isn’t far off. Studies have shown that acupuncture promotes healing by creating superficial wounds throughout the body. The body then rushes to heal those superficial wounds by boosting collagen production, blood flow, and numerous other healing functions.

Does It Really work

A 1989 study found that recovering alcoholics who included acupuncture in their treatment regime were twice as likely to stay sober than those only received counseling. The National Institute on Drug Abuse even recommends a certain way to do it. Practitioners in the substance abuse field are instructed to concentrate needles in spots correlated with the lungs, kidneys, and sympathetic nervous system. Many people report feeling a strong sense of relaxation while undergoing acupuncture, the same kind you get from yoga or meditation.

Will It Help My Appearance, Too?

As well as helping patients feel better, it can also improve self-confidence by improving the appearance of the skin by promoting collagen production. For this reason, acupuncture is popular as a cosmetic procedure, especially for wrinkles, scars, and stretch marks. It’s particularly popular among athletes and women who just went through childbirth. Many people are hesitant toward acupuncture, or fear repeating it, because it can be tough on the skin. Blood droplets on the skin can be jarring, even if they don’t mean much. Rest assured, licensed practitioners know exactly what they’re doing.

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